Congress’ Kapil Sibal, who is also a senior advocate, argued in the Supreme Court today that the 2002 Gujarat riots and the 1984 Sikh riots were the same as the attackers had hunted for their victims. Appearing for Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress MP from Gujarat Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the riots – Mr Sibal spoke about the violence in Delhi after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Sibal told the court, “I was staying in Maharani Bagh and there were houses of two Sikh gentlemen who were already recognized by the mob. They came only for those houses. Similarly, during the 2002 Gujarat riots, Muslims The houses were identified.”
Zakia Jafri has questioned the Special Investigation Team’s handling of the investigation into the riots and giving a clean chit to Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Mr Sibal today argued that the team did not conduct any investigation.
“The SIT itself should investigate. It didn’t do its job. It was a work of protection… The SIT only worked for the protection and security of the members of VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) People worthy of the name,” he told a three-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar.
Criticizing the team headed by former CBI chief RK Raghavan, constituted by the Supreme Court in 2008, he said, “the team “concluded contrary to the facts which they were aware of.”
“If the investigating agency does not perform its duty, then the victim suffers doubly – at the hands of the accused and then at the hands of the investigating agency, which did not perform its duty.
He also argued that the police and the SIT “cooperated and were well rewarded”.
“The SIT chief was made the High Commissioner to Cyprus. The call records of the Ahmedabad police chief show that he spoke to the accused but was later promoted as the DGP of Gujarat,” he said.
The next hearing of the case will be on November 16.
Ehsan Jafri was among 68 people killed at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 – a day after the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was torched in Godhra, killing 59 and rioting in Gujarat.
The SIT had submitted its closure report in February 2012, a decade after the riots, and gave a clean chit to PM Modi and 63 others citing “no prosecutable evidence”. The Supreme Court has started hearing the matter after several adjournments.